La Candela – Cadiz, Spain

Can you book? Yes
Food: 10/10
Atmosphere: 10/10
Price paid per person: £25

I thought the highlight of my recent trip to southern Spain would be my boyfriend’s proposal (I said yes). Then, after a life long search for a shower cap that gives full head coverage, I found a wonderful one in Malaga train station for a very reasonably price. I was wrong again. La candela, Trip Advisor’s 2nd best restaurant in Cadiz, won the contest.

Every table was occupied, and we were pleased to hear mostly Spanish being spoken, meaning that locals (who aren’t just excited about tapas because it’s tapas) rated it highly.

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Winnicott – Bermondsey, London

Can you book? No
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Price paid per person: £12

There’s a fire, pizzas for £10 (or £5 if you go on a half price day), a piano which they let me play and it’s opposite the Thames. Need I say more?

Previously known as the Old Justice, the Winnicott reopened in September with a new name and having reverted to a more traditional local community pub. I’m told there is now cask real ale and a selection of locally brewed craft beers. It’s full of charm and cosiness.

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winnicott

Joe’s Southern Kitchen – Kentish Town, London

Can you book? Yes
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Price paid per person: £24

What is it about the name Joe? Why is it always used in conjunction with fried chicken, lumberjack shirts and Jack Daniels? Don’t get me wrong, clearly as a Jo I’m not in any way against the name, I’m just terribly curious as to what the connection is. Even Google couldn’t help me. But what’s in a name, right? Continue reading

🎅 Christmas Special 🎅 : The Stag – South End Green, London

Ho Ho Ho, a Christmas special for dinner with jo…

I just came back from a six course Christmas extravaganza at The Stag pub. For those out-of-towners who aren’t familiar with South End Green, it’s next to Belsize Park and it’s where the Royal Free hospital is. My family are not so hot on planning; so much so that at 3pm on Christmas Eve there was no set plan for Christmas Day. I made a few phone calls and was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Stag had one table free. The man I spoke to couldn’t have been friendlier or more obliging. I was even told that whilst the fixed price menu did not include drinks, they were sure to be “generous with the mulled wine and port.” Good to know. Continue reading

XO – Belsize Lane, London

XO has all the chicness of Mayfair but it’s local enough that the thought of going there on a cold Sunday night isn’t daunting. Local is of course subjective, but for those who don’t live in or near the area, luckily XO is part of the Ricker group of restaurants (http://www.rickerrestaurants.com) so has sister pan-Asian restaurants, namely Great Eastern Dining Room in Shoreditch and e&o in Notting Hill. I recently became aware that La Bodega Negra is part of the same group but the vibe, not to the mention the food, is very different. Continue reading

The Salt House – Abbey Road, London

When I go out for dinner with my family, we aren’t very adventurous. Where we choose to go with friends/woo dates/conduct professional meetings etc is one thing, but as a group, we have a fairly regular restaurant (restaurant X) that we seldom stray from. Restaurant X has been one of my favourites for as long as I can remember; the food is excellent and the atmosphere unrivaled and it will continue to be one of my favourites indefinitely. However, two or so years ago a new restaurant came into the picture that has threatened the go-to status of incumbent restaurant X… Continue reading